Valor. Glory. Heroism.
Battlewise Hoplite | Art by William Murai
Anax and Cymede is just one of the many cards representing the heroes on Theros. Heroism is the boldness to be out in front, leading the way and inspiring your side of the battlefield.
Creating a Commander deck around Anax and Cymede asks you for a few things:
- Spells to target Anax and Cymede
- An army to be empowered
- Ways to have enough of both for a multiplayer game
Last week's sampling of your two-card combos called up one way: Sunforger and Mistveil Plains.
It certainly isn't one of the combos that wipes out everyone else at once (something to be carefully considered before choosing to include in a deck), but it does give us a way to repeatedly power up our red and white heroic duo.
I hear Boros Charm is a pretty neat spell for an army, and Shelter (and the new Gods Willing) can protect Anax and Cymede in a direct attack. Beyond spells that work with Sunforger, Seize the Day finally has a hero to call its own, and cards like Recoup and Reiterate will help load up multiple spells at once when needed.
For an army, all the usual tricks for creating one will work, including typical token-making fare such as Captain of the Watch, Increasing Devotion, Decree of Justice, Storm Herd, or even Heliod's newest champion, Elspeth.
Of course, that's just the path I'd start down. This is what some of you had to say.
Lark's Anax and Cymede
My Anax and Cymede deck is a little bit Voltron and a little bit token swarm. I pump up Cymede and her man with bouncing Auras like Flickering Ward, and when I have some tokens on the field, this buffs them as well. With just a handful of weenies on the board, the deck is easily capable of dealing 20+ damage per turn.
My list has an incredibly low average converted mana cost of 3.19 and runs smoothly with only 36 lands and some mana rocks. To make the most of the aggressive curve, my build employs a few mass land-destruction spells. The deck also runs a modest Sunforger package along with Mistveil Plains for recursion. One of my favorite synergies in the deck is Cathars' Crusade with Elspeth Tirel! I recently started experimenting with enchantment-driven card using Mesa Enchantress and I might eventually include Sigil of the Empty Throne if the results are promising.
I've played about a dozen games with the deck since Anax and Cymede was previewed, and I've been pleasantly surprised with the results so far.
Commander is the format I associate most with expensive Dragons and big, splashy spells like Insurrection. Lark went in the opposite direction to make the most of Anax and Cymede's lower converted mana cost. Creating an army in a flash, then supercharging it with the leadership of Anax and Cymede seems like a one-two combinations I can get behind.
Eric's Anax and Cymede
Anax and Cymede want spells that target them and an army behind them that can grow bigger, so I focused on an enchantress/token deck.
This deck utilizes Auras for the esteemed couple along with a couple of spells with buyback that can target Anax and Cymede. Other enchantments help build up an army of tokens and serve to keep opponents at bay. Enjoy!
There will be plenty of enchantments in Theros, so crafting a deck ready to take advantage of them makes sense. Enchantments (like the new Gift of Immortality) that can be used and reused are a potent way to pump with Anax and Cymede. Adding Kor Spiritdancer alongside them takes a page right out of Reid Duke's playbook.
Ray's Anax and Cymede
I decided to go with a Human tribal deck, because well, when you are looking for heroes you should look to Humans.
Concerted Effort takes advantage of the First Strike and Vigilance on the commander, and it allows somewhat relevant use of Righteous Avengers. Flashback and buyback spells let you target the commander multiple times. Otherwise, it's just a bunch of Humans attacking a lot.
Humans aren't just among the most populous of tribes in Magic, they're also getting some new tools in Theros. Cavalry Pegasus is proof of that. Magic 2014's reprint of Door of Destinies can also beef up a Human army in a hurry.
What you choose to do with Anax and Cymede is up to you, but your destiny is not yet fulfilled. Two other paths remain: